Online Gambling and Teens
Almost 10 million US citizens engage in Internet gambling, according to comScore, a market research firm. The market is largely composed of sports betting, casinos and poker. Gambling is a popular adult pastime. However, it is illegal for minors to engage in online gambling.
Gambling addiction can be a very serious problem for teens. Research conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center has shown that half of the 16 million Americans who have gambling addictions are teenagers. Teens are attracted to the thrill of the game and the hope of winning big money. They also feel that they have a better chance of winning than adults, which leads to their addiction.
Some of the risks associated with gambling include financial anxiety, a decline in self-esteem, depression and even theft. Teenagers may also sell their possessions to pay off debts. If you think you or a loved one may be affected by gambling, there are organizations that can offer assistance. To find one, search online for “Internet Gambling addiction help,” plus the name of the city.
In December of 2002, the General Accounting Office (GAO) published Internet Gambling: An Overview of Issues. It raised questions about whether the Commerce Clause provides legislative power to regulate gambling. However, the commercial nature of the gambling business may satisfy the Commerce Clause.
In November 2007, the Justice Department reversed its previous position on Internet gambling. The Department warned PayPal that it could face prosecution for violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The Attorney General also prohibits accepting financial instruments from illegal Internet bets.